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Old Dec 15, 2004, 11:30 AM   #1
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In asking questions about the FZ3 Nick replied with his soulition and it is a great one. Here's the excerpt:

Jering wrote:
Tell me more about how your "slave" flash works. I looked it up and saw the picture of it but there was little explaination of how to use it. Do you use the built in flash, too, at the same time? If your FZ1 does not have a hot shoe did you need to get an extra bracket? How easy was that to use? Also, do you go with the normal flash settings and let the flash monitor itself? Didn't know you'd that many questions back, did you?

Nicktrop wrote:
The slave flash is triggered by the internal flash of the camera. So the FZ-1's little flash goes off, and that fires the big flash. The FZ's use something called a whitebalance pre-flash - a quick burst two(?) miliseconds before the main fires, so there are only a few slave flashes that work with the Lumixes. The best "bang for the buck" is the Vivitar DF 200 imo. This model comes with a metal bracket that attaches to the tripod socket on the camera and has a "coldshoe" on the other end to hold the flash. However, I use an L bracket that holds the flash above the camera... this really helps get rid of the red-eye, and provides a nice sturdy grip.

If you've ever used non-TTL flashes on 35mm, you know that it can be hit or miss. The beauty of digital is that I know if my settings are right or wrong by taking a few "test shots". I usually control this via shutter speed/flash power setting - 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 on the flash itself to control instead of aperture, which I keep at the sweetspot of f-4. Takes a little practice and varies a bit shot to shot.

Flash photograph is a skill unto itself and it takes some time to develop a sense for the settings. (Unless it's TTL which does all that for you... but you sacrifice some control.)

Here's a link to the the thread:
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 12:52 PM   #2
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Thank you, sir...

Not that I'm trying to sell flashes for Vivitar but this seems to come up a lot. I am very pleased with mine - however, flash photography is a whole 'nother dimension, and this takes some .

Here's a link to the Vivitar DF200 on Amazon, which provides a pic and a nice detailed description. It also comes with a mini-tripod, since you can mount the flash and fire it far away from the camera. It also include the required bracket, but I would recommend springing for an extra $10 to $20 and get an L-bracket. Note this also goes under the name Phoenix 91 but its the exact same flash:


Interestingly, the first user review you see is from someone who has an FZ-20! He uses this flash, even though the 20 has a hot shoe (?) It also dropped a few bucks on Amazon since I bought it... It's $57, which qualifies it for free ship (I think...)

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